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Preventing School Violence by Preventing Bullying

A study from the United States Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center found that in about two-thirds of 37 school shootings in the last 25 years, the attackers felt “bullied, persecuted, threatened, attacked or injured.”  Between 50 and 70 percent of them have been viciously bullied and teased.  “Does this mean if you are bullied and teased you’re going to pick up a gun? No,” said William Pollack, an expert on the psychology of boys.  “But it does mean that those who have gotten thrown over the edge had been bullied and teased? Absolutely!”

The first large-scale national study of bullying by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development survey 15,686 private and public school students in grades 6 through 10.  The study found that 10.6 percent of the children had been bullied “sometime” or “weekly”, 13 percent had bullied others and 6.3 percent had been the bully and the target.

Bullying takes place more frequently in junior high or middle schools more frequently than high schools and most frequently among male students.

What can schools do to stop this growing plague?  If you see bullying take place – stop it.  Encourage students to come forward if they have been bullied.  Have students form a group to stand up for bullied students.  If a student has been bullied, he/she should create a “bully prevention team” to stand together to prevent bullying.

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